Skip to main content

No, iRobot is not setting up Roomba's to steal your home mapping data

irobot roomba wont sell mapping data 980 jumbotron
Image used with permission by copyright holder
Are you enjoying your robotic Roomba vacuum? Well, some consumers may have had cause to be a little anxious this week. In an interview with Reuters, iRobot chief executive Colin Angle gave the impression that the company was selling consumers’ home mapping data that was picked up by the device. This week, Angle decided to clear the air and tell us what’s really going on.

“First things first, iRobot will never sell your data,” Angle told ZDNet in a followup interview. “Our mission is to help you keep a cleaner home and, in time, to help the smart home and the devices in it work better.” So you don’t have to worry about your Roomba 960 stealing your personal data.

In the original interview with Reuters, Angle seemingly suggested that the company could hash out a deal with Apple, Google, or Amazon in the coming year and so to sell customers’ home mapping data. ZDNet’s David Gewirtz then reached out to Angle via a letter, stating his concerns. It was then that Angle rephrased what he originally meant to say. It seems like Angle was trying to convery that consumers will have a choice.

iRobot still says it plans on sharing that personal data, but it won’t be doing it for money, apparently. Angle said the data collected by the Roomba could help enhance smart homes in the future. Only this time, he made sure to say that if a consumer wanted such a feature, it would be their personal choice whether or not they wanted to share the info with other apps and devices. iRobot says Reuters initially misinterpreted Angle’s words, and the publication has since issued a correction.

The paragraph that caused the uproar consisted of the words “sell maps,” but have now been changed to “share maps for free with customer consent.” iRobot went on to say that it does not currently share data with third parties. But if it was to go ahead and so so, it will be sure to get your consent beforehand. You can probably breathe a little easier knowing that your Roomba is not a secret spy.

Editors' Recommendations

Stephen Jordan
Stephen is a freelance writer and blogger, as well as an aspiring screenwriter. Working in front of a computer and digesting…
Why Amazon acquiring iRobot will make Roombas even better
The iRobot app overlaid on a Roomba.

You've probably seen the news by now that Amazon has signed an agreement to buy iRobot for $1.7 billion. There have been a lot of mixed reactions to the news, but it's important to understand exactly what the agreement means.

First of all, the deal isn't complete. As of now, iRobot is still an independent company -- only the groundwork has been laid. While it's highly unlikely that it will fall through, nothing is set in stone yet. According to Amazon's own press release, "Completion of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including approval by iRobot's shareholders."

Read more
Amazon to buy Roomba maker iRobot for $1.7 billion
Cliff sensors on iRobot Roomba E5 prevents falling off stairs.

Hot on the heels of its acquisition of a health care company, Amazon has announced its intention to purchase iRobot in an all-cash deal worth $1.7 billion. Amazon will pay $61 per share for the maker of the popular Roomba robot vacuums.

“We know that saving time matters, and chores take precious time that can be better spent doing something that customers love,”  Dave Limp, senior vice president of Amazon Devices, said in a press release. “Over many years, the iRobot team has proven its ability to reinvent how people clean with products that are incredibly practical and inventive -- from cleaning when and where customers want while avoiding common obstacles in the home, to automatically emptying the collection bin. Customers love iRobot products -- and I’m excited to work with the iRobot team to invent in ways that make customers’ lives easier and more enjoyable.”

Read more
Eufy vs. Roomba: Which robot vacuum is right for your home?
Eufy bot cleaning.

Eufy has become known for its affordable home technology, while iRobot’s Roomba is now a household name for cleaning robots. If you are looking for a robot vacuum, which option should you pick? Are you more interested in power or useful smart features? Which brand is best for those on a budget? Let’s take a look at the major differences between these brands and what works best for you.
Available models

Visit Eufy’s site, and you’ll find options for X, L, G, and Bounce RoboVac lines, with around 12 models available, plus a couple of discount bundles.

Read more